UNMC to offer doctoral degree in epidemiology

Will become fifth doctoral program in College of Public Health

A doctoral program in epidemiology, the basic science of public health, will be offered by the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health starting next fall.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the new doctoral program at its meeting today. It is the fifth doctoral program in the College of Public Health. The other doctoral programs include:

• Biostatistics;

• Health promotion and disease prevention research;

• Health services research, administration, and policy; and

• Environmental health, occupational health, and toxicology.

Dana Loomis, Ph.D., chairman and professor of epidemiology, said that epidemiology is a specialized field and only 39 other medical centers in the United States offer this degree – universities in Iowa and Minnesota being the closest.

“Epidemiology is relevant to everything in public health,” Dr. Loomis said. “It studies the causes and distribution of illness and injury, measures the magnitude of health problems and generates scientific data for decision-making in all fields of health.”

Epidemiologists design and conduct studies to identify causes of disease, evaluate interventions and contribute to risk assessment, he said.

Students interested in this program include graduates with training in epidemiology or public health, physicians who want to transition into research, and people with a background in mathematics, statistics and social science.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2020 the job market for epidemiologists will grow faster than the average rate for other jobs. Career options for professionals with a Ph.D. in epidemiology include:

• Academic health centers;

• Government agencies;

• Private research firms; and

• The pharmaceutical industry.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.


Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)